Posted by: bklunk | October 31, 2006

Kristof–Should We Talk About Invading Sudan

Kristof – Should We Talk About Invading Sudan? – Opinion – TimesSelect – New York Times Blog
Nicholas Kristof offers some ideas about why it is so difficult for international politics to deal with “internal conflict” situations like Darfur.

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  1. This situation is just another unfortunate one that misses the radar screen in the West. The media will focus on a conflict like Darfur for a while and then it just disappears and we go on living like nothing happened. Its the same as Liberia, Congo, etc. Africa is riddled with cases of genocidal actions as a direct result of colonialism yet we turn our backs. Kristof is right.

  2. I can’t read the article. The link goes to this:

    “To continue reading the page you requested, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect. Log in now.”

    Is there a way you can post the article in full on this site? I’m curious what he has to say about this situation.

  3. “Africa is riddled with cases of genocidal actions as a direct result of colonialism yet we turn our backs.” I understand this quote, but I don’t agree with it whole-heartedly. Not everyone turns their backs, and efforts are being made. The problem is that these efforts aren’t necessarily efficient in the matter of saving lives. Many say this falls on the U.S. that we need to send troops there to fix the situation. Then do we send troops to all of these areas that are having similar problems? My thoughts are always all over the page when I comment on these blogs, and I just seem to have deep, conflicting emotions about what it is that should be done. Someone should step in and take responsibility to try and fix these horrible problems. But should it only be the United States? The U.N. makes efforts, but as I said in the last blog they cannot do very much before they are overstepping the bounds of nation-state sovereignty. Does this mean that the UN needs reform in some way? So there is a way to take care of these problems in a more efficient way than what is happening right now? Is it possible to deal with all of these troubled areas at once? I agree, the media will focus on one area for awhile and forget the others… I suppose that’s human nature. At least they are bringing some attention to that area.

  4. Unfortunately for the African states, they are able to offer little incentive to Western countries. Iraq has oil, along with many other middle eastern countries. Western Europe and Russia have a lot of natural resources. African nations don’t have that base of natural resources or they don’t have the means and stability to make use of it. As a result, there isn’t that economic or resource based incentive for the western nations to get involved. There isn’t something substantial that western nations can gain from intervening in places like Sudan. It’s sad to say, but it seems like unless the situation will personally affect the lives of people in the west, it is easy to let things keep happening. In the case of Sudan, it just means the loss of life for many and the displacement of many others.

  5. I definitely agree that not everyone will turn their backs. Just because it is no longer a top media story does not mean that efforts wont continue. However, all of these efforts that do continue may not hold up in the long run. With all of the corruption and violence in a lot of African countries, it can be too diffcult to pinpoint certain areas where effort is needed most. It is too hard to attempt to solve this problem with the only specific resources. More states need to come together to solve the problems, but with a lack of resources and promise its hard for others to want to involve themselves in the matter. The constant issue is definitely a hard obstacle to overcome and many see this as an inherent problem. I dont believe one country should be held accountable for its continuance. I dont think that the U.S. sending troops there is ultimately going to solve the problem, and for this to even to make progress requires more multilateral support. There are many states, not only in Africa, that are in need of support, however, it is impossible for the U.S. to jump in by policing and regulating without crossing the sovereignty line. In the end, other countries that coming together and the UN may be able to have some success in certain situations, but it is unlikely that every country will receive help. The efforts cannot be confined to one state or area, the aid needs to be spread to allow every country a little support.

  6. There should be little argument as to whether or not the international community is entirely “turning their backs” on Africa because that is simply not the case. At least some aid is being offered and the West has not entirely forgotten Darfur and other African nations. The real criticism seems to be in regards the degree and nature of the aid actually offered. Christi previously stated “the problem is that these efforts aren’t necessarily efficient.” I think “ineffective” may be a more accurate description. Either our efforts are stopping genocide or they are not, and sadly the latter seems to be the case. Therefore, this criticism against our apathetic indifference to the deaths of thousands is not without merit. “Why should the U.S. be responsible for stopping said atrocities?” one may ask; the answer is simple. America is quite possibly one of the only nations capable of sufficiently and efficiently halting the conflicts in Darfur and other nations. Should we sit idly by watching the slaughter of thousands while the U.S. banters with the U.N. over who is truly responsible? We saw this same situation take place during Rwanda when the U.S. actively avoided responsibility by attempting to default to the U.N. while offering little to no support to the U.N. It is time for the U.S. to step up to the plate and decide whether or not we will choose a future of active participation in international intervention or active indifference to genocide.

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